Teacher Salary: how local districts compensate their teachers
A common concern of prospective teachers is their salary. What will I make? How will I provide for my family? Well, we are here to help ease your fears.
Welcome to another post in our "Teacher Salaries" series! Today we want to share some insight from Todd Dawson, the Director of Human Resources for Alpine School District (one of the BYU partnership districts). Todd primarily works with "secondary certified employee matters, ADA accommodations, teacher evaluation processes, and participate[s] in employee training on policies and procedures." After talking to Todd, we were able to learn much more about what school districts are doing to help teachers with salary.
As discussed in previous salary posts, there has been an increase in salary across the state of Utah. Todd explained to us how this works in all districts, and especially in Alpine.
He shared the following: "Each district works through a negotiated agreement with the teacher association in the district that is granted negotiation rights (usually based on membership). Through that process, each district arrives at an agreement regarding salary and benefits, as well as negotiated policies impacted by the contract. Usually, the salary increases by a percentage each year, and the benefits (health insurance, retirement incentives, working conditions, etc.) are major elements of arriving at an agreed-upon contract. That being said, districts increase the salary schedule based on the funds received from the state legislature and the agreement arrived at through the negotiation process. In Alpine School District, in most cases historically, our salary increases through a C.O.L.A. (cost of living allowance) that leads to a permanent adjustment to the salary schedules."
In addition to an increase in salary, school districts are doing all they can to maximize the benefits that teachers receive! In fact, Alpine School District has a benefit package near the top of the state! The district "offers cost-free options for employee and family health insurance" and they also make great efforts in supporting the livelihood of teachers.
"Alpine School District provides training, professional development, health and disability insurance, mentoring, mental health resources, additional pay through summer collaboration grants, a professional learning community approach which affords teachers the access to the combined expertise of school and district personnel, salary lane changes based on additional schooling, micro-credentials for licensure and education, and other benefits and resources related to other specific needs."
You can rest assured knowing that school districts are doing what they can to help you as a teacher! Teachers make a difference and school districts don't want concerns about salary holding you back. We encourage you to think about both the short-term and long-term benefits of teaching. You won't be disappointed!